Stop and Smell: Your Guide to the Best Smelling Flowers

Stop and Smell: Your Guide to the Best Smelling Flowers

When a bouquet of the best smelling flowers enters a room, more than just the colorful blossoms draw attention. Quality, fresh flowers infuse a space with aromas that both soothe and invigorate. The scent is an important factor when choosing a flower arrangement, but it can't be communicated through a picture. Here is a helpful guide to which flower varieties smell best.

The Best Smelling Flowers Depend on Preference

The connection between smells and memory has its roots in neurobiology. According to The Harvard Gazette, the scent is a strong emotional trigger because the olfactory bulb, which processes smell, is directly linked to the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain. Therefore, each person's unique memories influence what they think of as the "best" flower aroma.

Since floral scents are subjective, envisioning the feeling or memory you want to evoke with your flowers helps determine the ideal choice.

Of course, no flower smells its best unless it's perfectly fresh. Be sure you're buying from a respected florist to ensure the best smelling flowers.

Best for a Classic Floral Scent: Rose and Peony

The classic floral aroma can bring memories of a grandparent's garden or a perfect spring day. Roses and peonies are two of the best choices for this delicate but distinct profile.


Victorians fell in love with the rose for its fragrance and planted it in abundance. Rose oil has been valued as a perfume since Roman times.

Different colors of roses often have different scents. The traditional sweet-yet-complex rose smell is most often found in red and pink roses. White, purple and yellow roses have undertones of lemon and honeysuckle. Cutting a rose increases its scent since it releases more oil. Look for half-open roses at the peak of their fragrance.


A peony's aroma is as refined as its appearance, sweet and summery but not overwhelming. Peonies are often used as a base for floral perfumes because their scent blends well with other floral notes. Choose a peony and rose bouquet for a smell that perfectly evokes a traditional English garden.

Best for a Tropical Kick: Lily and Hyacinth

For a warmer and more intense floral scent, choose lilies or hyacinths. These are some of the best smelling flowers because they evoke memories of vacations or spa days, inducing deep relaxation.


Lilies naturally produce linalool, which is terpene alcohol with a distinct, zesty floral scent. They produce more of this compound in the early evening, so a bouquet of lilies is a natural aromatherapy tool to wind down after a difficult day.

Calla Lilies have a subtle scent and are a good choice for those very sensitive to smells. Casablanca Lilies are much stronger, giving off a sweet and spicy aroma that can fill a room.


Hyacinths have some of the most complex aromas of any flower, a multilayered scent that deepens as the flower blooms. Green growth, sweetness and earthy musk are all characteristics of hyacinth, which means that this flower can blend well with the other best smelling flowers on the list, but it is also captivating on its own.

Best for Allergy Sufferers: Tulip, Orchid and Rose

Those with seasonal allergies can still stop and smell the flowers. To reduce allergy symptoms, the amount and type of pollen a flower contains should be taken into consideration.


Tulips aren't traditionally known for their fragrance, but many varieties have pleasant scents that range from honey to zesty spice. A low pollen count and an enclosed flower structure make tulips a safe choice for those with allergies.


The elegance of an orchid isn't limited to its appearance. Orchids are some of the best smelling flowers because they are complex yet distinctly sweet. Orchid pollen is stickier than other types of pollen, staying inside the flower rather than drifting through the air, so orchids are naturally a hypoallergenic choice.


Rose pollen comes in large grains that are too heavy to enter the air. Even if a recipient has seasonal allergies, they can enjoy the timeless scent of fresh-cut roses.

Where To Order the Best Smelling Flowers

The best smelling flowers are more than just a visual accent. The smell is intertwined with experiences and emotion, so selecting the right flower can unlock memories and transform a person's day. Consider associations your recipient may have with flowers or decide on a scent mood for your event. Fresh flowers always smell best so select a florist you can trust. Browse Beverly Hills Florist's flower arrangements to bring an irresistible aroma to any occasion.